Are We Looking At The Best CFL Action In Recent Years?

Guest Blogger | Updated Aug 25, 2011

Written by Guest Blogger: Dorian McLean

Time and time again we find the Canadian Football League compared to the National Football League by those who are not in the know. These are the people who do not watch our game and only look at ‘stats’ to make their assumption that the league is lower than that of the United Football League.

To those people, I say look again. You have thirty-two teams spread over your vast country, many of which year in and out sit in the red, while up North, the eight teams are financially stable and dare I say, as popular as ever.

Back in the 1990’s we witnessed several NFL teams look to make it here in the CFL, there was even talk of the CFL being taken over, but go ahead twenty years later and tell me where are these teams? Gone. Albeit some transformed into today’s teams however overall, the CFL continued their path forward declining money and becoming a great league for our country.

It’s no secret that over the last few years certain games were almost a gimme, an end result that was predictable as was disturbing. The same teams regardless of venue would go in, clean up and exit town. But over the last few years those whipped teams have grown and turned the playing field into a leveled field.

Teams such as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers or Hamilton Tiger-Cats or Toronto Argonauts were all teams that the rest of the league just checked off on their schedule as they look to face the Alouettes or the Stampeders and Lions.

Player development within the CFL is crucial and has played a great part in building the success of the Saskatchewan Roughriders or Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are currently riding their best success story of the decade and show no signs of stopping.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have built their team up once again, following their acquisition of quarterback Kevin Glenn and have had stability and growth in their community. And so they should. The only way to continue stability there or anywhere is to get the young kids involved.

Initiatives like the Scotia Kid Captain before each game, allowing a lucky young fan an opportunity to be up close and personal with some of their teams, are certainly rewarding for the community.

The CFL has continued talks of expanding their team list to nine and ten, with the return of Ottawa in 2014 and possibly adding a team down in the Maritimes with the recent success of both Moncton games.

Television ratings are at an all-time high, stadiums are selling out like crazy and revenue streams are up across the board. The fans like the product they see on the field and on game day and continue to come out.

Each week you look at the schedule and you just feel as if certain games will go a certain way, but in the end you will undoubtedly be surprised as the case is no longer there. Teams will no longer simply roll over. Player development within Canada has been at an all-time high, as it should be. This is Canada’s game don’t forget.

The growth from the last few years has seen new heights not seen since the 70’s and 80’s and will continue for many years to come. At the end of the day, it’s CFL, CFL, CFL and not like many predicted, NFL, NFL, NFL.

Do I long the day of meeting certain NFL players and shaking their hand? Sure. But I know that they’ll turn an eye and forget who you were just minutes. However, I will undoubtedly always take a meeting with a CFL player, coach or staff member any day, knowing that the relationships built between fans and teams will always be held to a higher standard.

To me, that is what makes me a fan of the Canadian Football League, one I will always be for the rest of my life.